The acclaimed screenwriter, who penned Cher's 1987 film Moonstruck and directed Meryl Streep in the film adaptation of his own Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt, has filed a motion to dismiss the legal action by his ex-lover Amanda Jencsik.
The 26-year-old actress filed a $5 million (£3.1 million) lawsuit against Shanley earlier this year (12), alleging he forced her to engage in violent sexual acts during their relationship.
The writer's lawyers have now asked for the case to be thrown out of court, arguing that Jencsik willingly returned to Shanley for numerous sexual encounters.
A representative for Jencsik's attorney, Sal Strazzullo, tells the New York Post's gossip column Page Six, "A motion to dismiss was argued in chambers a month ago, but no decision has yet issued by the judge... Our client is a student and an actress. She kept going back to Shanley's house because he had control over her, he would brag about all the people he knew and how he could help her career. She looked up to him as a mentor and he continued to take advantage of her. She is continuing with her counselling and therapy."